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The Battle for Nauru
THE BATTLE FOR NAURU
This Web site
details a raid made by the Seventh Air Force Command of the United States Air Force
stationed in Hawaii on the Japanese occupied island of Nauru during World War 2. The plane
first proceeded to the island of Funafuti some 900 miles from Nauru where the U.S. had
established a base. Two days after arriving in Funafuti, the raid on Nauru was undertaken
and was successful beyond all expectations. The Japanese Phosphate Manufacturing Plant had
been completely destroyed and it would be many months before the Japanese could restore
their destroyed machinery involved in the refining of the phosphates. The following day,
the Japanese retaliated by attacking the U.S. base on Funafuti on two occasions and two
U.S. bombers were destroyed.
A photograph of Nauru taken from a U.S. Liberator B-24
during the raid. The smoke is rising from the three
bombed-out phosphate plants.
A direct hit is scored on one of the three big Japanese
refining plants on Nauru. This island produces 80% of all
Japan's phosphate, which is used
not only for fertiliser but for smoke and incendiary
bombs, for drugs, plastics and rustproof metals.
Returning to Funafuti after the raid on Nauru, a B-24
lands on a palm-fringed landing strip. Funafuti was the
U.S. base set up by
the Marines in the Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu), southwest
of the Gilberts (now Kiribati).
A Liberator burns up after a Japanese attack on Funafuti,
about 4 a.m. on the morning after the big American raid on
Nauru. Another destroyed U.S. Liberator is at the left of
Marine medical corpsemen removed the body
of one of the five men who were killed when a Japanese
bomb landed in an area on Funafuti occupied by Air Force
The rudder of a Liberator shot away in the
battle over Nauru. Other planes had flat tyres,
perforated tanks, and punctured hydraulic systems.
Wounded Americans are prepared for air evacuation
to the nearest hospital. Some of them were wounded in the
U.S. attack on Nauru, others by the Japanese attack on
The wreck of a Liberator
on Funafuti after the Japanese attack.
At Hickam Field, Hawaii, a month later, more than
300 officers and men who participated in raids were
on this Web site had been prepared using material contained in the war time correspondence
between Major General Willis H. Hale, commanding 7th Air Force, stationed in Hawaii and
General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces.